Thanksgiving Family Traditions

Thanksgiving Family Traditions

Looking for some fun ideas to do with the family around Thanksgiving? Our family has three Holiday traditions that we look forward to every year. I hope sharing them inspires you to start some of your own Thanksgiving family traditions and start racking up those fun memories.

Giving Back

With Thanksgiving coming up, a lot of talk at our dinner table has centered around helping others and being grateful for what we have. My husband and I frequently talk to the kids about giving back but we wanted to find ways to get the kids more involved in activities that help others. So we have started a Pre-Thanksgiving tradition where we do one activity as a family to help others.

In the past we have helped various local charities through my son’s Boy Scout troop or through the YMCA. This year we are going to spend a few hours hand-packing meals at Feed My Starving Children, a charity that provides meals specifically formulated for malnourished children to nearly 70 countries around the world. This is a great activity to do as a family because even young kids can pitch in and help. Here are more ideas on how to give back as a family.
(more…)

[Read more →]

Tags: Holiday Traditions · Thanksgiving

Teaching Your Kids the Importance of Giving Back

In light of Thanksgiving coming up, a lot of talk at our dinner table has centered around helping others and being grateful or thankful for what we have. My husband and I frequently talk to the kids about giving back but we always feel like we need to do more and want to find ways to get the kids more involved in activities that help others.

Donate money.

Writing a check to support a charity is definitely one way to help. We always tell the children when we donate money and why we liked that organization. Now that our kids are a little older, we choose a charity to support by voting as a family. Every year we also buy a Christmas gift for a needy child from the YMCA or our Township’s Giving Trees. The kids help us shop to buy the donated items so they see what other families are lacking. We also donate money to the World Wildlife Fund every Christmas to support an endangered animal. I let each child pick an the animal they want to support. Every year before Christmas, we donate our used toys and clothes to charity. By making giving a family tradition, doing them consistently, the kids anticipate the activity and actually ask about what they can do to help.

Our kids also love one of our Church fundraisers for a local Women’s Shelter. They hand out plastic baby bottles and ask people to fill them with all loose change around the house. Our kids love searching the house for coins to put in the bottle.

Donate time.
But as a family, my husband and I would like to do more hands-on work where we can show the kids how our efforts and donating time makes a positive impact. Some of the activities that we are involved in offer some great opportunities to give back to the community. With our son’s Cub Scouts troop we have hand packed specially prepared meals for children around the world with Feed My Starving Children and we’ve sorted food at our local Food Pantry. When our kids were taking piano lessons, every year their teacher had the kids perform a Halloween concert at a local nursing home. The residents love to see the kids in their costumes playing music. We helped clean up the local forest preserve with my daughter’s Adventure Guides group.

For ideas on how to give more, I love MomItForward.com, a site that is all about changing the world one Mom at a time. The site has a wealth of great suggestions on how to raise giving children. What we love about the Mom It Forward suggestions is that they remind us that we should all be practicing more random acts of kindness AT HOME. It’s important to help strangers, but it is also important and really easy to help those we love.

For ideas on how you can volunteer with your children, ask at your Church. Call your local Senior Center and see if you can come and play games with the seniors. Call the animal adoption center and see if they need help cleaning or exercising the animals. Try a local Woman’s Shelter and see if they need help sorting clothing donations. Organize a neighborhood can drive. These are all age-appropriate activities for kids.

Some other resources include volunteermatch.org, where you can type in your zip code and interests and find a list of opportunities to volunteer in your community. If you are looking for information on how the family can be more Green, check out the Dr. Seuss Lorax Project, which teaches kids to save the environment and endangered animals. Finally, GenerationOn.com has some great information on how kids can help make a difference. There are some great ideas on how to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

What do you and your family do to give back? If you know of any great opportunities for families to volunteer together, please list them here. Any advice on volunteer projects for kids by age?

[Read more →]

Tags: Parenting Tips · Thanksgiving

I am Grateful for …

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope that you have plenty to be thankful for today and your day is full of “Chocolate Cake Moments.” I made the kids write out a list of what they were grateful for so I thought I would take my turn and then I’m off to eat turkey with my family!

As Bing Crosby sang in Holiday Inn, one of our family’s favorite Holiday movies, “I’ve Got Plenty to Be Thankful For”:

  • A husband who loves me and lets me pursue my passions both personally and professionally
  • A family that indulges me with my sometimes crazy family fun ideas
  • A son who makes me pull my hair out, but makes me laugh like nobody’s business
  • A daughter who can amaze me with how bravely she fights Type 1 diabetes, make me smile with her artwork, and is always game to try a new idea for the blog
  • A kitchen filled with donuts
  • A cat who can calm me and put me to sleep by purring in my ear
  • A smaller, weirder cat who is so funny looking I can’t stop smiling when I see him
  • An huge extended family that we can have fun with
  • A pair of red shoes
  • A beautiful house that is warm, cozy, and more importantly, lived in
  • Incredibly friendly neighbors
  • Friends who get my sense of humor and love to come out and play with me and my hair-brained ideas
  • A beautiful, furry dog who is still with us this Thanksgiving
  • The smell of turkey and gravy in my kitchen
  • Customers and friends who support my business so I can share my passion for having more fun with family and bring smiles to as many families as I can. Thank you!
  • I am grateful for you, my readers, friends and customers. I hope my ideas continue to inspire you to bring more laughter into your home. Now, go have fun with your family.

    Sue Kirchner
    Chief Fun Officer
    www.ChocolateCakeClub.com
    www.ChocolateCakeMoments.com

    You Might Also Like:

    Teaching Your Kids to Be Grateful This Thanksgiving

    Creative Thanksgiving Family Fun Ideas

    [Read more →]

    Tags: Thanksgiving

    Creative Thanksgiving Family Fun Ideas

    turkeys

    Looking for some fun ideas to do with the family around Thanksgiving? Here are a few of my favorites as well as some great ideas from other Mom bloggers.

    Get Active!
    Our town hosts a Turkey Trot 1 Mile and 5K race every Thanksgiving morning. While we usually travel out of town to visit family on Thanksgiving so we have never been in town to participate, several of our neighbors run as a family every year. It’s a great way to burn the calories before you pack in the carbs!


    cooking with the kids

    Bake Up Memories.
    We have a family tradition on Thanksgiving Day. After we gorge ourselves and the boys go watch football or take a nap on the couch, the women folk go back in the kitchen and make our favorite Holiday cookies. Each person brings their favorite recipe and we bake, bake, bake. (It keeps us awake and standing so we’re burning the Turkey dinner calories, right?)

    When we started this tradition it was fun to see what Grandma’s favorite cookie recipe was when she was a kid. Now that she is gone, we still make those cookies to remember her by. The other benefits of this tradition are that everyone goes home with a plate of assorted cookies. Freeze them and pull them out for your Holiday parties. If that’s not a stress-bustin’ tip, I don’t know what is.

    Make it a Tradition!
    Here’s a post I wish I had written! Check out the great A to Z Thanksgiving Family Fun Ideas from Cindy Bultema at the SheSparkles Blog.

    TheMotherHuddle.com also had some very cute ideas for Thanksgiving family activities. I love the Ornament Exchange idea!

    Have your kids make these Thanks and Giving trees. Every night in November, they write down something they are thankful for on a leaf and paste it to the Thanks Tree. They also write something Giving they did on a leaf and paste it to the Giving tree. It’s a cute way to decorate for Thanksgiving and the whole family will love reading what the kids wrote. Download these cute templates from LivingLocurto.com.



    Craft it up! If you want the kids to help make some fun decorations for the Thanksgiving dinner table or need an activity to keep the nieces and nephews amused on Thanksgiving Day, check out these kids craft ideas.

    Turkey Bowling

    MakeandTakes.com offers some fun ideas for Thanksgiving crafts and decorations. I really like the Turkey Bowling, Turkey Napkin Holders, and Turkey Bingo.

    Paper Cup Turkeys

    Kaboose.com had a cute idea for some Paper Cup Turkeys.

    What fun activities does your family do on or around Thanksgiving?

    [Read more →]

    Tags: Thanksgiving

    Creative Thanksgiving Family Fun Ideas

    turkeys

    Looking for some fun ideas to do with the family around Thanksgiving? Here are a few of my favorites as well as some great ideas from other Mom bloggers.

    Get Active!
    Our town hosts a Turkey Trot 1 Mile and 5K race every Thanksgiving morning. While we usually travel out of town to visit family on Thanksgiving so we have never been in town to participate, several of our neighbors run as a family every year. It’s a great way to burn the calories before you pack in the carbs!


    cooking with the kids

    Bake Up Memories.
    We have a family tradition on Thanksgiving Day. After we gorge ourselves and the boys go watch football or take a nap on the couch, the women folk go back in the kitchen and make our favorite Holiday cookies. Each person brings their favorite recipe and we bake, bake, bake. (It keeps us awake and standing so we’re burning the Turkey dinner calories, right?)

    When we started this tradition it was fun to see what Grandma’s favorite cookie recipe was when she was a kid. Now that she is gone, we still make those cookies to remember her by. The other benefits of this tradition are that everyone goes home with a plate of assorted cookies. Freeze them and pull them out for your Holiday parties. If that’s not a stress-bustin’ tip, I don’t know what is.

    Make it a Tradition!
    Here’s a post I wish I had written! Check out the great A to Z Thanksgiving Family Fun Ideas from Cindy Bultema at the SheSparkles Blog.

    TheMotherHuddle.com also had some very cute ideas for Thanksgiving family activities. I love the Ornament Exchange idea!

    Have your kids make these Thanks and Giving trees. Every night in November, they write down something they are thankful for on a leaf and paste it to the Thanks Tree. They also write something Giving they did on a leaf and paste it to the Giving tree. It’s a cute way to decorate for Thanksgiving and the whole family will love reading what the kids wrote. Download these cute templates from LivingLocurto.com.



    Craft it up! If you want the kids to help make some fun decorations for the Thanksgiving dinner table or need an activity to keep the nieces and nephews amused on Thanksgiving Day, check out these kids craft ideas.

    Turkey Bowling

    MakeandTakes.com offers some fun ideas for Thanksgiving crafts and decorations. I really like the Turkey Bowling, Turkey Napkin Holders, and Turkey Bingo.

    Paper Cup Turkeys

    Kaboose.com had a cute idea for some Paper Cup Turkeys.

    What fun activities does your family do on or around Thanksgiving?

    [Read more →]

    Tags: Thanksgiving

    Page 1 of 11